The head of Germany’s leading Jewish group called on Wednesday for an annotated version of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography-cum-manifesto “Mein Kampf” to be republished despite a ban.
Stephan Kramer, general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany told ZDF television: “I think it makes sense and it is important to publish an edition of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” with an academic commentary.”
Kramer added: “An academic and historically critical edition needs to be prepared today, to prevent neo-Nazis profiting from it.”
“Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”) has been banned in Germany since the end of World War II, and the southern state of Bavaria holds the rights until 70 years after the Nazi dictator’s death in 1945.
However, in June, a Bavarian minister added his voice to calls for the work to be republished with a critical commentary to avoid it being misused by far-right groups when the rights expire in 2015.
Wolfgang Heubisch, science and research minister, said: “There is a danger that charlatans and neo-Nazis could seize this disgraceful work when Bavaria’s rights run out.”
“Therefore I am of the opinion there should be a decently prepared and well-grounded critical edition.”
The book, written in 1924 when Hitler was languishing in a Bavarian prison, combines elements of autobiography and sets out his views on Aryan racial purity, his hatred of Jews and his opposition to communism.